Protecting Our Students and Our Schools
The following set of resources is meant to be a start for approaching our profession as educators following the election of Donald Trump. Please share these resources widely. If you find other resources or curricula that is useful to you around the election, please email links to Patrick Burke (email@example.com) and he will add them to the list on our website.
Required Reading: Immediately following the election, there were several crowd-sourced google docs online that were created to both understand events that led to the 2016 presidential election and provide concrete tools to help people who will be affected by the President-Elects proposed agenda. The Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves lists links to learn more about racism, systematic oppression, and how to be an ally. The World is a Terrible Place provides health, legal, and safety plans for people who could be targeted during a Trump administration.
Teach Yourself to Speak Up: The Southern Poverty Law Center published a document last year titled Speak Up: Responding to Every Day Bigotry which outlines responses to racism, sexism, and other hateful speech in pretty much every social setting. There is also a webcomic titled What to Do If You Are Witnessing Islamophobic Harassment illustrating concrete steps to help someone if they are being verbally assaulted in public.
Immigration Law Trainings: The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota offers trainings for groups including teachers, students, and other groups on issues including immigration policy in Minnesota and nationally, DACA and DACA, naturalization, and other issues. Other teachers unions around the country are exploring offering these trainings for members, so if you are interested in attending, let us know.
Teach Your Students
Anti-Hate Curriculum: A teacher in San Francisco created a curriculum to address the 2016 election. The curriculum is designed to create a safe space for students to talk about their own experiences and educate them on battles against for racism, sexism, and homophobia in American history. Lesson one is focused on how we got to this the election. Lesson two looks forward to President-Elect Trump’s first 100 Days in office.
ACLU Lessons: The ACLU of Minnesota has resources available for teachers including a curriculum on the Bill of Rights and another on the Civil Rights Movement. They also have newsletters for kids about their rights and free copies of the constitution available for students and will provide speakers for classes.
AFT and NEA resources: Both AFT and NEA have links available on their websites for teachers on issues ranging from talking about immigration to helping students understand stereotypes. Both AFT and NEA’s resources focus on combatting bias and creating a safe and welcoming space in the classroom.
Hate in the Classroom: Right before the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a report earlier this year about the effect of the 2016 election on schools in the United States. They solicited stories from teachers and students around the country to produce the report, entitled The Trump Effect. Teaching Tolerance, an SPLC publication which has good resources available for classroom teachers, conducted the surveys which led to the report.
Change Your Community
Sanctuary Schools: Several school boards around the country have passed resolutions limiting the ability of US Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement and Immigration and Naturalization Services to enter schools. These resolutions, passed in Los Angeles and Portland, OR, also forbid district employees from asking students about their immigration status and require the districts to provide training to members about immigration laws and how to support students in the face of immigration raids. While most of these policies are in place in Saint Paul Public Schools, our school board has not officially declared our schools sanctuaries yet.
Take Action: On January 19, join with thousands of other teachers across the country to stand up and protect our students and our schools. SPFT will be coordinating actions around the city. Let us know if you have ideas for actions you want to take to stand up for our students and our schools on Inauguration Day and make sure your school has a representative at our planning meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd at 5pm at SPFT. To let us know if your school will be attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org.